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Border Reivers

Introduction


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BORDER REIVERS
- INTRODUCTION
- READY TO RAID
- BASTLE
- BASTLE RAID
- HOT TROD
- REIVERS END
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The heyday of the Border Reivers was the 15th and 16th Centuries, when England and Scotland were two separate, warring nations. Their roots lay in the troubled times from 1296 onwards, when Edward I of England attempted to take over control of the Scottish throne and put his own choice of king there. From that time on, the lives of the Borderers were affected by invasions, raids, burnings, blackmail and murder.

Early international laws known as March laws developed for the six Marches, three in England and three in Scotland, that marked the Border area. Wardens were appointed to enforce the March Law, and to hold Truce Days when disputes across the Border would be settled. Punishments were carried out at the Truce Days if the guilty parties were present.


The difference in national laws between England and Scotland, and the many disputes between the Wardens, allowed the Reivers to thrive.A way of life developed based around the strong family Surnames, which were similar to Clans. Raids and counter raids led to feuds between Surnames. The feuds were often carried on over many years. Feuds could be across the Border or even between Surnames of the same nationality.

Many Borderers wore their nationality lightly, and there were many marriages between Scottish and English families. Borderers farmed mainly cattle and sheep, as crops could be burned. The cattle and sheep could be rustled by robbers - Reivers. Protection money was paid to the Surnames to prevent raids as blackmail - illegal rent. If anyone was raided and their possessions stolen, they had the right to follow the raiders as a Hot Trod. Anyone they met, on either side of the Border, had to join in and help them.Some rulers, particularly Henry VIII, encouraged the troubles on the Border both to cause problems for the opposite ruler, and to develop troops skilled in guerrilla warfare for use overseas.

Glossary
TOPIC GLOSSARY
Border Reivers


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